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European Congress of Young Farmers gather

European Young Farmers gathered in Seville, Spain, from 3-6 February for the European Congress of Young Farmers, a specific event on the agenda of the Spanish EU Presidency dedicated to agricultural issues.

The seminar, organised by CEJA and ASAJA, saw representatives and experts from the European Parliament, the European Commission, the WTO, the Spanish government and other agricultural affiliated organisations confront the dilemma posed by generational decline in agriculture and how to ensure that the new developments of the CAP reinforce the role of farmers in European society.

CEJA President Joris Baecke underlined that young farmers envisage “great opportunities in agriculture, because we are part of a key sector of society,” and the role of farmers has to be revitalised since “they are essential to economic development, employment and renewable energies, and to avoid climate change”.

Speakers from diverse organizations all agreed that measures are needed to make agriculture an attractive sector for young people, especially in often ageing and increasingly abandoned rural areas. In the EU 27 fewer than 7% of farmers are below the age of 35, conversely over 34% are over 65 years old.

New management mechanisms and market regulation, a modern and effective CAP to empower intervention risk management tools as well as the role of emerging economies, climate change and global trade were just some of the issues discussed by the panels that had to respond to the questions asked by Europe’s future generation of farmers and food producers.

Source: CEJA - European Council of Young Farmers

Natalie Berkhout

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